For more than 100 years, MHC has worked to improve mental health services, promote long-term wellness for people with mental health conditions, educate the community about the importance of prevention and early education, and combat discrimination resulting from a mental health diagnosis.
MHC strives to expand the breadth of and access to community-based services at the federal and state levels enabling people with mental health conditions to engage with the types of services they need when they need them. We also believe that the conditions that have caused inequity and injustice for centuries in this country must be dismantled for systemic change in the mental health world to occur. Read our Anti-Racism Pledge [link to pledge]
Advocacy is about action, and MHC welcomes you to join us as we strive to affect real change. MHC advocacy efforts are built on three cornerstones for change:
- Educating elected officials and policymakers about issues that impact the ability for individuals, families, and and communities to achieve mental wellness;
- Motivating those impacted by mental illness to share their stories; and
- Creating and participating in coalitions designed to build consensus around systems change.
CT Parity Coalition
In July 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed a “mental health parity law” (formerly An Act Concerning Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Benefits) which received unanimous, bi-partisan support. The parity law requires that private insurance plans in Connecticut follow the regulations set forth in the 2008 Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The Federal law states that health care coverage for mental health and substance use disorders can be no less restrictive than for medical and surgical benefits.
The success of the 2019 law is the work of many years of advocacy from a wide variety of groups, as well as the culminating effort of the CT Parity Coalition MHC, a group of advocates from over 25 organizations and associations across Connecticut working with state legislators, consumers, and other groups to elevate equity in health care system. The Coalition educates and advocates for policy change that will protect individuals living with mental health and substance use disorder conditions, ensuring consumers’ rights are protected and that they are treated as fairly as they would for other health conditions.
During the 2021 legislative session, MHC will be working with advocates and legislators to ensure the first provision of the 2019 parity law is followed. This provision stipulates that insurance plans submit reports on data that will identify gaps in coverage for behavioral health.
MHC’s Suzi Craig is the CT Parity Coalition facilitator. Contact Suzi at scraig[at]mhconn[dot]org to learn how to get involved.
contact your legislators
It has never been easier to contact state and federal officials to educate them about mental health issues. By contacting your legislators and sharing your stories, experiences, and concerns, you can help MHC positively influence policies and laws impacting mental health services in our communities.
Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) helps thousands of individuals put hope into action. We believe long-term wellness and recovery is achievable for everyone. We help individuals obtain a safe home, activate whole health living, find fulfillment and purpose, and become an active member of the community.
Mental Health Connecticut is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Take a look at our current job opening and see if there is a position for you!